Addendum: I’ve had to do some research and corrections of the 55 Maxims list due to finding 2 different versions floating around. Check out this post that explains. #8 is actually “Keep the Church’s Fasting rules.” and #9 is “Spend time in silence every day.” I’ve moved #8 to Week 7 post.
On this Maxim Monday we will take a look at number 9 of the 55. This maxim is rich and simple, but yet it is very hard to do.
Fr. Thomas says of it in his podcast “Lent – The Tithe of the Year” where he introduced us all these 55 maxims in 2008,
Practice silence, inner and outer. Just sit for a few minutes every day in total silence. Turn off all the appliances. Open one’s self to God. Don’t think about anything. Watch the thoughts that come and turn them over to God.
One of Fr. Thomas Hopko’s dear friends, Dr. Albert Rossi has a whole chapter in his book “Becoming a Healing Presence” on Inner Stillness.
He talks about Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
The converse is implied; If I am not still, I run the danger of not knowing the real God.
He later says,
The high price for not being still is the possibility that we might not know God. If we don’t know God, we don’t know ourselves, because we are made in God’s image and likeness.
Have you ever tried to practice stillness? I think it is a lovely thing. But when I do my mind just wanders and thrashes about. I often give up.
Dr. Albert Rossi says,
What can we expect if we decide to sit quietly for a period of time every day? We learn that when we get quiet, our dark inner world explodes out. All the repressed negative thoughts, all the undone tasks, all the backed-up sludge comes to the surface. That’s ugly. So, we just stay busy and avoid the discomfort. But if we allow that phase to pass—and it will pass—a gradual peace floods our soul. St. John Chrysostom said that if we continue to pray, we ‘lay the snake low’. What beautiful phraseology! We become conquerors!
I love this imagery!
May we become conquerors of the snake of darkness. The snake of gloom.
And become kindlers of joy!
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